Woman faces court over cannabis charge

The Sydney Morning Herald/July 23, 2007

A self-confessed "energy healer" implicated in a $2 million cannabis cultivation racket played such a minor role that the charges against her should not stand, a court has been told.

Gilla Mogilevsky - a senior practitioner in the mystical Jewish Kabbalah movement - faced Central Local Court on a charge of cultivating cannabis and a related charge of deemed supply.

Police began surveillance on three adjoining homes belonging to Mogilevsky's three sons on Sydney's north shore after a Crime Stoppers tip-off in early 2006.

Undercover video footage shows the 53-year-old woman spraying the air around part of a crop of 494 plants and removing a rubbish bin from a room in the St Ives premises.

Closing committal proceedings, prosecutor Nick Borosh said the footage clearly showed Mogilevsky spraying a substance, probably a pesticide or herbicide, onto the hydroponically-grown plants.

Such an act implicated her in cultivation, at the "low end of the scale", Mr Borosh said.

The act also linked her, circumstantially, to a charge of supply, he told Magistrate Jayeann Carney.

But Mogilevsky's lawyer, Wayne Baffsky, said there was not enough evidence to prove she had played anything but the most minor of roles.

Although Mr Baffsky conceded Mogilevsky's behaviour and presence was "odd and suspicious", he said the video footage only showed her in one of the three premises on one day, and her actions were "open to interpretation".

"If you look at what's required to bring these plants to fruition it had already been done ... by the three boys on the premises," he told the court.

"By comparison we have Mrs Mogilevsky doing something on a very small scale."

The tape showed her spraying into the air above her head, not directly onto the plants, an act insufficient to support a cultivation charge, he said.

"Really, to be realistic, this comes down to what she's doing on that day and how you interpret it," Mr Baffsky said.

"It's clear that the boys are cultivating themselves. It's clear that they're doing all the necessary work ... and there's nothing whatsoever to show that Mrs Mogilevsky had anything to do (with it) on a larger scale."

Mogilevsky, dressed in a grey suit, sat quietly behind her lawyer throughout the hearing.

One of the Mogilevsky sons is expected to give evidence in support of his mother before Ms Carney decides on Tuesday whether to commit Gilla Mogilevsky for trial.

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